before the calm
Like most of us out there that wanted a motorcycle
when we were younger (anywhere from 18-24, even younger, or at whatever
age), our mother,
father, brother, sister, dog, cat, cow, horse, or a combination
thereof, would scream at us while flailing their arms ... "You'll kill
yourself riding those things!! You're not going to do it while
you're under my roof!!!" ... or something like that. In my case
it was my mom. My dad has long since passed so he couldn't have
said any thing to this effect. nonetheless, I was crippled.
She would have disowned me. Since then, years have gone by and
any thoughts of getting a motorcycle vacated my empty head. That
is until just about a year ago, summer 2004. During that time, a
bunch of my friends and colleagues at work started buying
motorcycles. I noticed they're going hog wild about it and never
seem to get tired of talking about the subject. Of course I had
my mother's view drilled into my little head and the first reaction was
... "They going to kill themselves" ... "It's way too dangerous out
there. Especially in the L.A. metropolitan area." This
coupled with the unknown of how hard it is to get a motorcycle license
convinced me to put it out of my head. But unbeknownst to me, the
moto fever was brewing in the recesses of my dark and dank mind.
Most of my friends were trying to convince me to buy a sport bike but I
just didn't like the idea of doing 140 on the 210
you Nate ) and loosing my license with an
impound of my vehicle by a
state trooper (there are better names for them but I won't use it
here). So I shrugged it off again and said ... "Nah..
it's too dangerous." That is ... until one day.
I had forgotten how fond I was of the Paris-Dakar race and the
they used in those races. I remember watching a report of one of
the races where a rider entered the rally with a BMW motorcycle
one year (I still don't know who it was, what year it was, and which
the heck BMW
motorcycle model he rode), managed to trash his bike and left it there
in the desert to collect sand, then came back the following year with
another BMW motorcycle, had problems with the new one in the same
stretch of the rally, he managed to fix his current motorcycle in the
taking part(s) off of the wreck motorcycle from the previous year, and
then kept on truckin' until the end of that stage.
I'm thinking to myself... "WOW!!! that's nuts but insanely
COOL!!" Anyway, my cool friend Jaime (with his big 6
cylinder Honda Valkyrie, or was that a Honda Civic on two wheels?
there are more cylinders on a Valkyrie than on a Civic. ) said
should look at the enduros offered
by BMW. I then remembered ... "Oh yeah!!! the enduro
bikes!!!" MAMAMIA!!! That was it. At first I looked at the
R1150GS Adventure and thought ... "That is one big ass moto
Mang!!" I don't think I can handle that behemoth of a
bike. I can just picture myself dropping that thing and crushing
myself in the process. But then another friend (Nate) said ...
"They have a smaller bike that will fit your build." He showed me
the F650GS. Game Over!!! Stick a fork in me and declare it
done. I'm now determined to get the 650. Admittedly I was
still hesitant. The price tag was set at around $8500 and I still
don't know if I can get a motorcycle license.
Plus, It's a Bee-Mer.
During this time I was having problems with this close female
friend. She was giving me a lot of grief about something or
So I thought to myself
... "WTF!! Who cares if she doesn't
want me to ride a moto. Screw that!!!" Viola! Mind
made up and
inhibitions all gone. So I asked another friend (Kevin) to see if
he can go to the BMW dealer with me on the weekend and test ride a
F650GS for me. Maybe even ride the bike home for me. I was
pretty much determined to get a bike. He said yes so we're set
for the Saturday event.
That Saturday Kevin showed up at my apartment on
his bike (a Honda CBR600 F4I at the time) which we left at my
place and drove off to the BMW
So we made it to the dealer in Pomona, CA. I had called the
dealer during the week asking if there are any used F650GSs they might
have. He mentioned they had a used 2003 F650GS with 7K
That sounded interesting. I might end up purchasing that
motorcycle to reduce the expenditure. Funny thing was, Kevin and
I were pretty poorly
dressed. I had a pair of shorts, a Duke Nukem' t-shirt (yes I'm a
nerd), and a pair of sandals. Kevin wasn't that much better
off than I was. I can tell the sales guy, was kind of leery of
us. Probably thinking ... "These riff raffs probably can't afford
much." Anyway, we milled about a bit looking at various
F650GS and even an F650CS until he showed us the used moto. It
was RED and ... it was used.
Personally, I wasn't very
of red. Nonetheless, Kevin was cool enough to go ahead and jump
on that babe for a test ride. I hung around the show room looking
rally2 suits (they're cool) and I'm drooling over one. When Kevin
back, he said that the bike didn't ride so hot (most likely because
he's been riding a sport bike and doesn't really know what an enduro
really felt like. Sorry Kevin ).
He said there appeared
to be oil leaking and all that good stuff. So we went back in the
show room and opted for a brand new 2005 F650GS with something like 11
miles on it. To make a long story short ... bla bla bla bla bla
... we finished the financing of the bike and I got a Rally2 suit
thrown in to
boot. I downed 2K and got the bike out the door at 9K. Now
it's time to take delivery of ... SCREEEEETCH!!! But wait ... I don't
have a motorcycle license and I don't have motorcycle insurance.
I can't get my bike until I have at least a motorcycle permit and
definitely motorcycle insurance since I'm the one getting the loan from
BMW (bummer dude!!! ). I is stuck!!! And
So the dealer is willing to hold my motorcycle for a week (no more, no
less) until all the paper work is straightened out. If I don't
straighten it out in a week, it's a no sale (!!!).
To say the
having fun. I even contemplated putting the entire loan for the
motorcycle on credit
cards to bypass the loan restrictions and what not. Fortunately,
I came to my senses and knew that wasn't a smart idea. I spent
the rest of the weekend
reading the CA motorcycle handbook and the automobile handbook. I
don't like exams. Never did like exams. I hated them in
college and I hate them now. As the next week begins (Monday)
I went to take my written exam. I passed with only 3 missed
questions. Phew!!! I then called AAA of Souther California
on the same day to get insurance for my new, still at the dealer,
motorcycle. They said OK to the VIN and OK to the permit and
I'm now insured (Oh YEAH!!!) Now that all the pressure off
of me, I get to call the dealer and have them deliver Mr. Moto.
Surely enough, the next day (Tuesday) the sales guy rides my beautiful
silver F650GS (Yes ... with the
orange seat) over to my apartment. I then drove him
to the dealership and went to work.
This is a later picture with the saddle bags and a top bag.
note to others out there in the world: don't go
buying a motorcycle unless you have at least a motorcycle
permit. Unless you like taking chances like little o' me.
It's no fun to be under the gun when there's so much
green fluttering in the wind. At least I know I can't do this
again in the future. For those that think I'm an
doing this, all I have to say is...
old ... Impatience!!!
I then waited until the weekend to take my first tentative ride on Mr.
Moto. Having 10+ years on a mountain bike
definitely help me learn how to ride a motorcycle quickly. After
two sessions, on two separate days, I rode to work for the first time
on the following Monday. Suffice to say, my friends were surprise
that I manage to ride within such a short amount of time.
Shifting and clutching was a new concept relative to the mountain bike
but not extremely difficult. With slow riding and a lot of
thinking ahead, I was doing OK.
Alas, that's the story of my first motorcycle purchase and ride.
It was definitely hair raising for me. Having all the paper work
tied up because I didn't have a motorcycle permit. I'm just glad
everything panned out. I guess the worst case is: a no sale, I
would have to go get the permit, and attempt to purchase the bike
again. But that didn't happen. Thank the almighty Zeus and
all of his illegitimate sons.
I wish I can get one of these... or even afford one...
This is a F650RR entered in the 2001 Paris-Dakar Rally
Written on: October 1, 2005
Last modified: September 3, 2007